WE ARE JUST TARGETING LAND BARONS : GOVT newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

WE ARE JUST TARGETING LAND BARONS : GOVT newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

The government expressed concern about people illegally settling on state farmland in urban and rural areas and others illegally selling land, but reiterated that the operation targeting land barons is not intended to punish citizens.

Furthermore, the government says it is concerned about attempts to tarnish its image by those “determined to incite hatred and despair,” by circulating videos of burning homes dating back to 2018.

This was revealed in a joint statement issued last night by Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxius Masuka, Minister of Local Government and Public Works Winston Chitando, and Acting Minister of Home Affairs, Cultural Heritage, Ziyambi Ziyambi and National Housing. and Minister of Social Facilities, Daniel Garwe.

The ministers said the government had successfully implemented a land reform program since 2000, which culminated in the settlement of thousands of families on A1 and A2 farms.

Farmers contribute to the success of agricultural policy and the country’s food self-sufficiency, with several maize, tobacco and wheat productivity records broken, especially since the advent of the Second Republic in November 2017.

In relation to the Land Commission Act and the Lands (Consequent Provisions) Act, the ministers said in the statement that it is illegal to occupy rural state land without legal authority in the form of a letter of offer, permit or lease.

They added that it is also illegal for anyone not licensed by central or local government to sell, rent or offer a lease with an option to buy state or council land.

“The government’s position has been consistently clear on the need to reach an orderly and legal settlement regarding the land,” the statement read. “However, it has been noted with concern that there are people illegally settling on urban land as well as rural state agricultural lands and others who are selling them illegally.”

Recognizing the prevalence of cases in which people have resettled themselves illegally on state or council land, Minister Masuka issued statements on 28 November last year and 3 January this year, advising the nation that state lands are not for sale and applicants must follow the correct procedures to They can obtain state lands. Allocated land.

Minister Masuka’s statement was followed by statements from various Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Delegation.

On Tuesday this week, Minister Chitando issued another statement supporting the same, referring to urban land and specifically Ward 16 of the City of Harare, which covers the Mapilerene suburb.

In that statement, Minister Chitando said it was illegal to occupy green corridors or subdivide state or council land without authority, for any purpose.

The police and the Ministry of Agriculture then launched a joint operation on January 10 to deal with land traders and informal settlements.

The operation has so far led to the arrest of more than 3,700 land lords while police have interviewed many illegal settlers to facilitate investigations.

In a statement last night, the government insisted that the operation was not aimed “to punish or remove citizens from their homes as was portrayed, but to restore order in the allocation and management of state land.”

“We have noted with concern attempts to discredit the government by those intent on inciting hatred and despair,” the statement read in part.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the video circulating of burning homes is from an incident that occurred in 2018 and is not related to the current operation. This incident has been investigated and corrective action has been taken.

“Apart from this and on similar lines, we are aware of other videos circulating on social media which, once again, are deliberately designed to discredit the current process of restoring order in the allocation and management of state land. Some of the videos are even from beyond Zimbabwe’s borders.

“The government is committed to ensuring that all its citizens are settled in an orderly manner on the allocated lands. In this regard, members of the public are advised to report any suspected cases of land barons and illegal settlements to the ZRP hotline phone numbers 0242 771874 and WhatsApp 0712 800 197 or the nearest land office. Announces

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